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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Hayes & Yeading United  
4 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Pritchard 12, Buchanan 20, 25, Thompson og 81.
 Sent Off: Connor 30.
Attendance: 316 (approx 80 from Mansfield) (lowest crowd to watch a Mansfield first team game in our history (since joining the league in 1931, excluding County Cup)
Date: 9 April 2011


Martin Shaw at Church Road

Mansfield Town sunk to an all time low at Hayes & Yeading on Saturday afternoon with the worst performance I have ever seen from a Stags team since I started watching in 1971. Mansfield were simply blown away by a Hayes side battling against relegation from the Conference. Hayes were playing their third choice keeper yet Mansfield failed to force the keeper into a single save until the 87th minute (apart from a header from an offside position). At the other end, Hayes put in crosses from the left hand side at will, and could have scored more than the three goals they got in the first half, all the goals coming from crosses from the left. Don't be fooled by the Stags having Paul Connor sent off - this didn't happen until we were 3-0 down. In the second half, Tyrone Thompson scored a ridiculous own goal, and in the end the Stags could easily have lost by 6 or 7. The Stags have every chance of winning the FA Trophy in four weeks time, which would be fantastic and wonderful, but we are absolutely miles away from being a side that is close to challenging for promotion. Huge changes are needed.

With the Stags surely needing to rest some players, there was just one change from the side that drew on Tuesday, as Sandwith replaced Stonehouse at left back.

The game was played in gloriously sunny conditions, but on a rock hard and bumpy pitch. It was the Stags second and last visit to Church Road, and the presence of two show homes being built on the car park gave a clue as to the reason.

The lowest crowd to watch a Mansfield first team game in our history since joining the league in 1931, excluding County Cup, had been set as Histon a couple of weeks ago, but it was immediately obvious that it would be broken again, with a pitiful turnout from the home fans for what was a vital game in Hayes' battle against relegation. If Hayes stay up, they will be ground-sharing with Woking, a 40 minute drive away, next season. I can see crowds of around 50 `home` fans there next season.

Early signs in the game were that Hayes `wanted it more` than Mansfield but it was generally a quiet start. On 12 minutes however Hayes took the lead. Hayes had already put in a couple of teasing crosses from the left just out of reach of home strikers, but then Brown crossed from the left and former Tamworth player Pritchard rose above Naylor and powered a header into the roof of the net.

On 13 minutes, Sandwith’s ball over the top land nicely for Connor, who shanked a shot wide of the left post from a good position. On 15 minutes, a Hayes free kick from the left was headed just past the right post by Cadmore, with Grof scrambling to reach it.

But it was 2-0 on 20 minutes. A great cross from the left, this time by Sam Rents, was flicked into the net by Buchanan with his right foot. It was the fourth cross from open play that Hayes had put in the from the left hand side, with stand-in full back Istead simply getting nowhere near stopping the crosses coming in.

Unbelievably Mansfield’s defending got no better and it was 3-0 on 25 minutes. Holmes was given too much time on the left to cross to Buchanan who volleyed beautifully in off the right post. It was slack defending by Mansfield on Hayes’s left yet again, and also by Sandwith who didn’t get tight enough on Buchanan.

This was embarrassing already.

Nix immediately replaced Higginson. On 28 minutes, it was nearly 4-0 as Bygrave sent a free header wide.

On the half hour, Connor rose for a challenge with Bygrave but appeared to lead with his elbow and was immediately shown a red card. Connor looked amazed, but the decision looked reasonable to me, and subsequent video evidence appears to back this up. Connor will now miss three games, which I would have thought can only do him good as it did not appear that Duncan Russell was prepared to rest the striker who was looking like a flogged dead horse.

A horrendous error by Istead on 34 minutes as he gifted the ball to a Hayes striker 7 yards from goal but luckily for the Stags Naylor was able to block the shot. A minute later, Masterton was through on goal, and as Grof came out to narrow the angle, Masterton fired wildly over.

Unbelievably, on 40 minutes, Istead gave the ball away in the box again, and Sam Rents’ shot was deflected wide.

This was easily the worst 45 minutes defensively I have ever seen from a Mansfield side. In fact, words more or less failed me in the match commentary.

Half time 3-0

On 49 minutes, Briscoe took a long range free kick for the Stags but it was blocked. On 53 minutes, Buchanan was through on goal, his shot from close range, was saved by Grof, rebounded back and hit Buchanan and went just past the right post. It was a similar incident to Tubbs’s goal for Crawley 11 days earlier, which ended up in the net. An important interception by Naylor on 65 minutes as he cut out a cross from the right, with two strikers unmarked waiting behind Naylor.

A rare chance for the Stags on 67 minutes as Nix’s free kick was flicked on by Briscoe and reached Naylor but Naylor fired wide.

Adam Smith replaced Medley, and then Mitchley replaced Briscoe. The Stags had been playing with two up front in Medley and Briscoe, but now reverted to one up front in the form of Mitchley.

A half chance for the Stags on 76 minutes, as Nix’s free kick was headed across goal by Naylor and claimed at the second attempt by the Hayes keeper.

It was 4-0 in farcical circumstances on 81 minutes. A cross from the right appeared to cause no danger in the Stags box but the hapless Tyrone Thompson tried to clear it, it came off the wrong part of his boot, and flew past Grof. It was truly a ridiculous own goal.

It should have been 5-0 shortly afterwards. Another cross from the left hand side, and substitute Pierre Joseph-Dubois headed a free header high over the bar.

Finally the Stags had a shot on target on 87 minutes. A corner from the right reached Steve Foster and his left footed shot was parried away by the keeper for his first save of the afternoon.

It was the final action of quite simply an afternoon to forget for the Stags.

Man of the Match: Louis Briscoe

Report by: Martin Shaw at Church Road

Line Up:
Grof 6 Not to be blamed for the goals.
Istead 1 Unfortunate to be played out of position at right back ... but this was probably the worst performance I have ever seen by a player in a Stags shirt. All three goals in the first half came from crosses from the left, plus there were several other crosses. Also gave the ball away twice inside the 6 yard box. In one Hayes attack, I spotted him trotting back 40 yards behind the ball.
Foster 5 Poor.
Naylor 6 The only defender who was not poor.
Sandwith 5 Part of a dreadful defence.
Higginson 5 Sacrificed after the third goal.
Murray 6 Kept going throughout.
Thompson 4 Very poor game. Some awful distribution. And scored the most ridiculous own-goal with an awful mis-kick.
Briscoe 6 Tried to get things going singlehandedly at the start of the second half. Even though he is one of our best players at the moment, I would like to see him given a rest.
Medley 4 Very poor.
Connor 4 In other circumstances, a straight red would have been a disaster. But I can only say that missing three games will do him good as we build up to Wembley.
Sub Line Up:
Nix (for Higginson, 26) 6 A couple of awful free kicks, and didn't contribute much. Did at least put in one decent free-kick which Naylor headed goalwards.
Smith (for Medley, 69) -
Mitchley (for Briscoe, 72) - Livened things up momentarily.
Subs Not Used: Collett, Silk.
Opposition Line Up:
McWeeney, Ferrell, Cadmore, Bygrave, Brown, Rents, Masterton, Holmes, Pritchard (Appiah 87), Hand (Yiadom 80), Buchanan (Joseph-Dubois 72). Subs Not Used: Green, Wright.
Ian Cooper (Kent).

Season 10/11 Reports